No City for birds, say birdwatchers

No City for birds, say birdwatchers

Birdwatching seems to be the new fad for many Bengalureans. But not many know that birds, which were commonly sighted in the City’s residential areas some 13 years ago, can now be seen only 50-150 km away.

“When I was a young boy, I would easily sight 30 species of birds in Basavanagudi. Now I can see not more than five. And to spot the rest, I have to travel 150 km away,” recalled Ulhas Anand, a birdwatcher and moderator of BNG Birds, arguably Bengaluru’s oldest birdwatching group.

Varied birds
Some of the birds which were sighted in Bengaluru previously but now can be seen only on the outskirts or in distant places are: Purple Sunbird, Leafbird, Collared Scops Owl, Paradise Flycatcher, Peoples Blue Flycatcher, Phantom Paradise Flycatcher, Bound Live Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Red-headed Merlin and Black-naped Oriole, said Anand.
As birdwatchers and like-minded people celebrate the Bengaluru Bird Day on Thursday, the disappearance of birds from the City’s neighbourhoods will be the main topic of discussion.

This is the second straight year Bengaluru is celebrating the day to mark the birth anniversary of Dr Joseph George, who started BNG Birds in 1972. George started his career at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, where he formed the first birdwatching group. He was also the director of Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute, Bengaluru.

Many noted birdwatchers, students, retired officials, homemakers, software professionals and businessmen are part of BNG Birds, said Anand. The event coincides with Wildlife Week from October 2 to 8.

There will be a talk on ‘Understanding Lakes Through Birds’ by noted ornithologist S Subramany at Venkatappa Art Gallery.

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